Since Slipknot's announcement that they would be playing a series of summer shows in the wake of the death of bassist Paul Gray, there has been much fan speculation as to whom Gray's replacement could be.
Now, the band has revealed by their official website that former Slipknot guitarist Donnie Steel will be filling in on bass duties for the upcoming gigs. The band's statement is as follows:
"For their upcoming shows in 2011, Slipknot has asked Donnie Steele to fill in for Paul Gray on bass.
"Donnie, as some may recall, was the original guitar player in Slipknot and had actually reconnected with Paul in recent years... Donnie was in the band at the very beginning, and rather than get an outsider, we thought it would be a fitting tribute to Paul to play with someone from within the family. Donnie was great friends with Paul and we can't think of a better way to celebrate his memory than with someone who was there with us at the very beginning. The eight of us are looking forward to being onstage again and honouring Paul's legacy with our families in Europe and Brazil this summer."
As RockAAA reports, Steele played guitar on Slipknot's Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat, but left the band in 1996. He played in Body Pit with other Slipknot members including Paul Gray and death metal outfit Killpact.
Speculation abounds as to Slipknot's future after the summer shows. While Joey Jordison alluded to the band continuing beyond the gigs in a recent Kerrang interview, front man Corey Taylor has stated that he doesn't see a new Slipknot record happening in the foreseeable future.